From the Pastor’s Desk

Just what is wrong with people?

The news outlets are full of bad news. Knife attacks in Bristol, football fans fighting in a ‘Black Country’ derby between West Brom and Wolves, drone attacks on a U.S army base in Jordan and endless deaths and destruction in Gaza and Ukraine.

If you had read all this in a book you might be tempted to think that this is just fiction, not real life.

So, what is wrong with our world?

This is nothing new to our world, the only difference is that we can get the news of these events almost instantaneous and from every part of the world.

It has always been like this right from the beginning of the existence of men and women. It is called sin!

Now this is a word that people do not like and often people try to explain it away, “it’s a mental illness”, “it is because of pollution,” “it is a lack of moral leadership”,” we need better role models to show us how to live”. None of this is the answer.

People are just prone to doing bad things at some time in their lives. The Bible, God’s book, tells us that we all sin. [Romans chapter 3 verse 23]. However, the Bible also has the answer to our sin problem and He is Jesus. The Bible tells us “The wages of sin is death” [and death happens to all of us because we are sinners], “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” [Romans chapter 6 verse 23].

If you want to know more, why not come along to one of our meetings.

From the Pastor’s Desk

One of the big worries people had last year was about A.I [Artificial Intelligence]. Should we worry about it in 2024?

Artificial Intelligence has been around for a while, as a teenager I had a computer chess game, which at its highest setting was almost impossible to beat.

Rather than A.I the one thing to worry about this year and every year for that matter is G.I [God Intelligence].

The Bible tells us that God knows all about us, what we think, feel and do.

From the Bible and Psalm 139 we read:

 “O Lord You have searched me and know me.

You know my sitting down and my rising up:

You understand my thoughts from afar off.

The Bible tells us that one day we will have to give an account of all that we did in our lives. For some of us that might be a frightening thought, but if you believe in Jesus then all the bad things in your life were paid for when Jesus died on the Cross.

We pray as a church that 2024 will be a good year when you know Jesus as your Saviour and Lord.

From the pastor’s desk

When you think about Christmas and the baby Jesus, do you ever think why Bethlehem?

Bethlehem even today is a very small village just 4 miles outside of Jerusalem. In the days of Jesus, it had only one thing going for it, it was the place where king David was born, the most famous king of Israel.

Yet why did God send His Son to be born in Bethlehem? Why not in a palace or in Rome?

The answer is that God hundreds of years before said that was where His Son Jesus would be born.

In the Bible, in the Gospel account written by Matthew [chapter 2 verse 6], Matthew quotes a passage from the Old Testament which says, “But you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler. Who will shepherd My people Israel. Here the Bible is telling us that Jesus will be born in Bethlehem.

Does God say anything else about His Son Jesus?

Yes, He does; in the Old Testament we are told that He will die to pay for the sins of all who believe in God and in Jesus the Christ.

In the Old Testament part of the Bible, Isaiah, 600 years before the birth of Jesus, wrote: “But He [Jesus] was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed” [Isaiah chapter 53 verse 5].

At Christmas, please don’t stop at the manger in Bethlehem, but move on to the cross at Jerusalem. If you want to know more, we will be glad to you tell the Good News about Jesus at our services.

Pastor Mike Leaves.

From the Pastor’s Desk

As a church we are sometimes asked “Why doesn’t your church get involved with ‘Churches Together’ or the ecumenical movement?”

Now that is a very good question and one which could involve a theological and complex answer. One which to be honest, people will probably lose interest in very quickly.

However, we can perhaps answer the question with references to Scripture. One from Jesus and one from the Apostle Paul.

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to Father [God] except through Me.” That verse comes from John 14:6.

Note what Jesus says; He says that He is the way, the truth, the life. Which means that any religion that does not have Jesus as the Son of God as its primary teaching, Jesus says such a religion does not come to God. It is a dead end. Simply put without Jesus there is no heaven. The Bible is clear on that. This then rules out all the major non-Christian world religions and the cults that are around today.

Our text from the Apostle comes from his letter to the Ephesian church. Ephesians 2:8-9.

Here Paul writes, “By grace are you saved [saved to eternal life] through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.”

This verse gives a clear teaching that to go to Heaven; we must have faith in Jesus and Jesus only. It is not about, being good or how nice we are, or again how committed we are to our church. None of those things save us to eternal life.

Our salvation is not by faith and works as so many churches teach, but Christ alone, through faith alone. As a church we are more than happy to fellowship and work with churches that would preach that. However, we find so many churches do not preach this and indeed often have a low view of the Bible, such that the Bible contains the Word of God rather than holding to the teaching that the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the Word of God, every word in the Scriptures is God’s Word to us.

2. Timothy chapter 3:16 says; “All Scripture is God breathed and profitable for teaching , for reproof, for correction and training in righteousness.”

If your church can say Amen to what has been written then we would be happy to fellowship with you.      

From The Pastor’s Desk

The miracles that Jesus performed point us to His deity and they demonstrate that He is not someone whose words can be considered lightly.

The teaching of Christ is not something we can take or leave, but our response to it will reveal whether we enjoy eternal life or eternal destruction.

From the Pastor’s Desk

The Bible teaches that although God cannot do evil Himself, He is nonetheless in control of evil and that evil serves to advance His ultimate good purposes. This is good news for us, because it means that every evil we endure will be used by God for a good end. We do not always see how this happens on this side of glory, but we can be sure that God will ultimately bring good out of evil.

See Luke chapter 4 verses 31-37.

From the Pastor’s desk.

An anonymous poem.

I asked God for strength that I might achieve-
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things-
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy-
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men-
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life-
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for-
But everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.

[From the book “Look, No Hands” by Brian Gault.]

2. Corinthians 12 verse 10: “Therefore, I delight in weaknesses, in insults in distresses, in persecutions, in difficulties, on behalf of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Pastor’s Desk 25th July.

How do you measure success in life?

If you are Boris Johnson that might be a difficult one to answer.

Most of us like him, probably have some positives in life and some negatives.

But how does God view success in life?

The Puritans of England and Scotland produced a catechism in 1645 and the very first question they posed was – “What is the chief end of man?”

In other words what makes to a successful life? Is it Wealth, Fame, Exploits in a time of war or in a time of peace.

They set their answer in the light not of this world but of God’s world.

The answer they gave was:-

Man’s chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him [God] forever.

Now many of us can quote this but how many have ever thought about the answer?

From the Pastor’s Desk

What is a church?

A church is not a building. It is not a denomination or organisation and it is not just a gathering of people.

It is however a gathering of a group of special people who are called Christians. They are people who love Jesus, believe that Jesus died for them on the Cross at Calvary. Who believe that Jesus died paying for all their sins, as a sacrifice to God the Father, so that Heaven is open to them. They are also a people who follow Jesus and seek to serve Him with their lives on earth.

Whenever God’s people meet then Church happens. A building is not required, what is required is a heart to worship God and Jesus through the Holy Spirit together.

Matthew chapter 18 verse 20.